Wednesday, April 24, 2013

U is for Untenanted

Hello everyone and welcome to my "U" post, where I talk about "untenanted houses" in astrology.

When you look at someone's astrological chart, you will find that a number of the houses don't have any planets in them. These houses are known as untenanted houses

This is a normal situation; there are 10 planets and 12 houses, so every house can't have a planet. Also, some of the planets will always be close to the sun...Mercury can never go more than one sign away from the sun sign, while Venus will never be more than two signs away from the sun sign in either direction. So those limitations will play a role in where everything is.

When you have one or more planets in a particular house, that area of the horoscope is going to be energized. Depending on the house and the planet sitting in it, there will be particular effects. That's where things start to get interesting, and there are whole books written on this topic.

But what happens if there are no planets in a house? A story in one of my books talks about an astrology student who was concerned because her chart had an untenanted 5th house, and she wanted to have children. She wondered if somehow she couldn't or wouldn't have children because there were no planets here. You could ask the same question about getting married, since you may have an untenanted 7th house, which rules marriage and partnerships.

The answer is that an untenanted house doesn't mean that something will or will not happen to you. Astrology gives you tendencies, but in the end, you decide what your actions are. So even if your astrological chart says that having children may be unlikely--there are such things as "barren planets" as well, for the record--that doesn't mean you should give up. 

(And for the record, your astrological makeup should not be an excuse to behave like an asshole. The loud, arrogant person who constantly craves being the center of attention shouldn't justify it by saying, "I'm a Leo, so what do you expect?" Think of your own examples at will, with apolgies to Leos since it was the first to come to mind; just remember that I thought of Leo first. But I digress.)

If you cut it all away, an untenanted house just means that areas ruled by this house may not have a lot of activity or importance in your life. For example, an untenanted 1st house doesn't mean you don't have a personality--I know there's a joke here, and please stay with me as I ignore it--but it probably means that your ego is not front and center in your life, or that your personal appearance is not of particular importance. An untenanted 10th house doesn't mean you won't be ambitious, but your career is likely not going to be your life's focus. These are just a few of the thousands of possible examples.

So how does an astrologer work with an untenanted house? Well, not having any planets there is hardly the end of the story. The sign on the cusp--the edge--of the house is an important factor in how you deal with all of the areas ruled by that house, so we look at that. In addition, we'll look at the ruling planet of that sign on the cusp as well for additional information.

As an example, let's say you've got an untenanted 6th house and you've got Gemini on the cusp. The 6th house is about health and day-to-day work matters. With Gemini on the cusp, likely you enjoy flexibility in your day-to-day job, and can multitask well, but routines might be a problem for you. In the health area, arms, shoulders, hands, and fingers might be a problem--all Gemini ruled (and in PAIRS, too, like the Twins!)--and likely you will have difficulty maintaining a healthy lifestyle over the long haul, due to your desire to change things up constantly. If Mercury (the sign that rules Gemini!) is sitting in Scorpio, then that will add a level of intensity to the house, and likely you will take 6th house topics very seriously or ignore them completely.

Anyway, I hope you don't worry about these untenanted houses in astrololgical charts. They're just a common part of your astrological makeup.

Thanks as always for tuning in! We're in the home stretch of A to Z, so please tune in tomorrow for my "V" post.


  1. :/ Sooooo...I can't use being an Aries as an excuse when I go all firey on someone for being simple?

    1. Well, not that a "good twin" would ever do such a thing...but I can't recommend it, knowing full well the futility of telling an Aries woman what to do anyway. :)